Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a conversation among the author and current writer-in-residence at Deutsches Haus at NYU, Julya Rabinowich, the author and translator Lynne Sharon Schwartz, and the acclaimed translator Tess Lewis on two novels exploring the young adult experience – Rabinowich's "Me, In Between" ("Dazwischen, Ich") and Silvana Gandolfi's "Run for Your Life" ("Lo dentro gli spari"). The conversation will touch upon the literary importance of coming-of-age novels, the refugee experience in Austria and Europe, and children forced to make decisions in an adult world.
About the books:
"Me, In Between" by Julya Rabinowich:
Where is Madina from? That doesn’t matter. She’s from everywhere and nowhere. And now she’s finally arrived in a country that promises safety. To her, it feels a lot like the future here. But it is not as easy to gain a foothold for everyone in her family. Her father withdraws, and her mother falls silent. So it’s upon Madina to take action and to mediate between her family in the refugee hostel and the unfamiliar life on the outside. Torn between her parents, who won’t let go, and her desire to be a normal and accepted teenager, Madina has to take charge of her family’s fate. In this endeavor she meets Laura with whom she feels at home in this foreign land.
"Run for Your Life" by Silvana Gandolfi, translated from Italian by Lynne Sharon Schwartz:
A talented young runner, Santino, lives in Palermo, Sicily—a beautiful region of Italy that’s dominated by the Mafia. With Santino’s first communion approaching, his father and grandfather carry out a theft to pay for the party—but they steal from the wrong people. A young, cocky Mafioso summons them to a meeting, and they bring the boy. As Santino wanders off into the old abandoned neighborhood, he hears shots and runs back to see two armed men and his father and grandfather slumped over in the car. The boy barely escapes with his life. Now, he’s left with a choice: cooperate with the police and be a “rat,” or maintain Omertà: the code of silence.
Twelve-year-old Lucio lives in the northern Italian city of Livorno and dreams of sailing when not taking care of his his young sister, Ilaria, and his sick mother, who is convinced that a witch has cursed her. One day, Lucio’s mother goes missing and he receives a mysterious text: “Come to Palermo. Mamma is dying.” Panicked, Lucio grabs Ilaria and rushes to Sicily, where Lucio’s and Santino’s stories converge with explosive results.
About the panelists:
Tess Lewis is a writer and translator from French and German. Her translations include works by Peter Handke, Walter Benjamin, Maja Haderlap, Philippe Jaccottet, and Christine Angot. Her awards include the 2016 ACFNY Translation Prize, the 2017 PEN Translation Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is co-chair of the PEN Translation Committee and an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review. In 2014 and 2015, Tess Lewis curated Festival Neue Literatur, New York City’s annual festival of German-language literature in English, which featured Julya Rabinowich in 2010.
Julya Rabinowich, born in 1970 in St. Petersburg, has lived in Vienna since 1977, where she also studied. She studied painting, philosophy, and translation and works as a writer, columnist, painter, and interpreter. Her debut novel, “Spaltkopf," published first by Edition Exil in 2008 and reissued by Deuticke in 2011 won the Rauriser Literaturpreis 2009 alongside several grants. It was published in English by Portobello Books in 2011 under the title “Splithead,” in a translation by Tess Lewis. She has also written “Herznovelle" (2011, nominated for the Prix du Livre Européen), “Die Erdfresserin" (2012), and “Krötenliebe" (2016). With “Dazwischen: Ich"; she published her first young adult book at Hanser 2016. It has been awarded the Friedrich-Gerstäcker-Preis, the Österreichischer Kinder- und Jugendbuchpreis, and the Luchs (Die Zeit & Radio Bremen) as well as the Best 7 Books for Young Readers (Deutschlandfunk) and the Oldenburger Kinder- und Jugendliteraturpreis. Another young adult novel “Hinter Glas” will be published in 2019.
Lynne Sharon Schwartz has published twenty-five books of fiction, nonfiction, essays, poetry, and translation. Her reviews and criticism have appeared in many leading magazines and newspapers. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Foundation for the Arts, and has taught in writing programs in the United States and abroad. She is presently on the faculty of the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College.
Events at Deutsches Haus are free of charge. If you would like to attend this event, please send us an email to email@example.com. Space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event. Thank you!
"'Me, In Between': An Evening with Julya Rabinowich, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, and Tess Lewis" is presented with the generous support of the Federal Chancellery of Austria. Additional support is provided by the DAAD.